Barrett looks for second-half surge in Aiken

AIKEN --- The second half has begun in the South Carolina gubernatorial contest, and candidate Gresham Barrett says he's up for the challenge.

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Gubernatorial contender Gresham Barrett poses for a photo with supporter Teresa Popham during a campaign stop Wednesday at Maxine's Restaurant in Aiken.   Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Gubernatorial contender Gresham Barrett poses for a photo with supporter Teresa Popham during a campaign stop Wednesday at Maxine's Restaurant in Aiken.

"The most important score in a basketball game is after halftime," he said Wednesday at Maxine's Restaurant in Aiken. "It's halftime. It's a huge hill, but are we up for it? Absolutely."

The congressman met with supporters and customers at the Laurens Street restaurant hoping to garner new supporters and re-energize his voter base.

Supporters packed the eatery for Barrett, who will compete against state Rep. Nikki Haley in Tuesday's Republican primary runoff. Barrett got 22 percent of the vote in the June 8 primary, while Haley received 49 percent.

Voters should not let Barrett's second-place finish overshadow the issues, said Aiken supporter Teresa Popham.

"I don't believe you vote for people because they have the upper hand," she said. "He's pro-life, his faith is very important to him, and I like his stance on jobs and immigration."

Barrett, an Army captain who has served in the House since 2003, said he thinks his dedication to running a positive campaign will play in his favor. His staunch pro-life stance, plans for economic development and fiscal conservatism will make the difference during the runoff, he said.

"I voted against the stimulus package. She (Haley) voted for it not once but twice," he said. "I've put out my tax records, federal disclosure and all my donors' contributions. She hasn't. I think all these things make the difference."

Charlie Hartz, an Aiken business owner who voted for Haley, said he came to the country-cooking restaurant Wednesday afternoon to determine whether Barrett would get his vote.

"I want to see what Gresham has to say," Hartz said. "I want to see if he's in line with the Tea Party -- less government and more personal responsibility."

Tommy Smith, of North Augusta, said Barrett is the best candidate because he has a long congressional record that speaks to fiscal conservatism. Smith, formerly a Democrat, plans to vote for Barrett a second time.

"He's someone that can look at the issues, and make a good decision without being dogmatic," he said. "I've been a Gresham backer, and I think him coming to this little restaurant will help his campaign."

In Aiken on Sunday

Nikki Haley will hold an ice cream social at The Alley from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, two days before the Republican primary runoff with Gresham Barrett. Tuesday's winner will face Democrat Vincent Sheheen.

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Emerydan 06/16/10 - 04:30 pm
Hang it up Gresham..

Hang it up Gresham..

Many Arrows
Many Arrows 06/16/10 - 06:26 pm
How could Barrett POSSIBLY be

How could Barrett POSSIBLY be supported by the Tea Party folks after his big spending, big government votes as a member of Congress?

nofrills 06/16/10 - 07:31 pm
He sold us out for his own

He sold us out for his own back room deal. Ask him why he is trying to kill the bill to make his vote public? After all isnt he voting for us? I believed in him and he let me down now he wants our vote. Please people read for yourself what he has done to us. He is not our friend.

reader54 06/16/10 - 08:33 pm
I kind of like women

I kind of like women politicians. They seem to have less arrogance, more fiscal responsibility and honor.

jb1234 06/16/10 - 10:36 pm
Interesting tidbit about

Interesting tidbit about about Barrett, he has missed more votes than any other member of the current House, missing 43.4% of the votes. The second place title for missing the most votes goes to Nathan Deal of GA, who has missed 25.4% of the votes. Just something to think about.

johnston.cliff 06/17/10 - 04:11 am
Barret voted for the TARP. I

Barret voted for the TARP. I still feel this was not the action of a fiscal conservative.

Haley voted to accept the stimulus at the state level after it had become law.

These acts aren't comparable.

Barret has a very conservative record in the house, when he voted, and is the second best candidate in this race.

Riverman1 06/17/10 - 05:42 pm
Barrett is running a

Barrett is running a commercial with someone in an Army sergeant's uniform with a clearly visible U. S. Army tab, supporting him. It is against Army regulations for anyone to appear in uniform supporting a political candidate. These commericals should be pulled immediately.

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